Currently available reports from the New York Times and Washington Post tell us that Trump's decision to gas peaceful protesters outside the White House so he could awkwardly pose in front a church holding a bible upside down was Ivanka Trump's idea and the whole thing was planned and carried out by Hope Hicks and Attorney General William Barr respectively, but Secretary of Defense Mark Esper may be the one who pays a price for it.
Esper held a press conference this afternoon where he publicly opposed using the military domestically and condemned racism in America.
The Trump White House, as you might expect, did not like it.
"The officers on the scene that day should be held accountable for his murder. It is a tragedy that we have seen repeat itself too many times. With great sympathy, I want to extend the deepest of condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd from me and the Department. Racism is real in America, and we must all do our very best to recognize it, to confront it, and to eradicate it," he said. [...]
Trump and other top officials, including national security adviser Robert O'Brien, are "not happy" with Esper after his Wednesday remarks, three people familiar with the White House's thinking said.
In the press conference, Esper also distanced himself from a maligned photo-op outside St. John's Church.
One White House official said aides there did not get a heads up about the content of Esper's remarks, including most notably Esper's decision to publicly break with the President on the use of the military to address unrest in US cities.
Opposing Trump's call for using active-duty military against Americans was probably not nearly as consequential as simply acknowledging that racism is real. I'm sure it's the latter that truly upset Trump because it legitimizes the protests while Trump wants them to go away. Trumpworld does not want to acknowledge that racism is real or do anything to fight it because racism is literally their entire electoral strategy.
Sources who spoke to CNN says Esper was already on "shaky ground" before today for some unspecified reason and it's not difficult at all to imagine that he'll either resign or get forced out over the summer. And maybe it won't even take that long.
During his time as the secretary, Esper has presided over many controversial decisions that ultimately served Trump's interests, such as the decision to relieve USS Theodore Roosevelt Captain Brett Crozier from his command for blowing the whistle on coronavirus infections, or the decision to send thousands of troops to Saudi Arabia for no substantiated reason, but you know how these thing go.
Everyone who works with Trump is eventually humiliated even if they do exactly what he told them to do. Everyone is expendable to Trump and pushback from the public should only fall on others; never himself.